Central Auditory Processing Disorders

Central auditory processing disorders are deficits in the information processing of audible signals not attributed to impaired peripheral hearing sensitivity or intellectual impairment. This information processing involves perceptual, cognitive, and linguistic functions that, with appropriate interaction, result in effective receptive communication of auditorily presented stimuli. Specifically, CAPD refers to limitations in the ongoing transmission, analysis, organization, transformation, elaboration, storage, retrieval, and use of information contained in audible signals. CAPD may involve the listener’s active and passive (e.g., conscious and unconscious, mediated and unmediated, controlled and automatic) ability to do the following:
  • attend, discriminate, and identify acoustic signals;
  • transform and continuously transmit information through both the peripheral and central nervous systems;
  • filter, sort, and combine information at appropriate perceptual and conceptual levels;
  • store and retrieve information efficiently; restore, organize, and use retrieved information;
  • segment and decode acoustic stimuli using phonological, semantic, syntactic, and pragmatic knowledge; and
  • attach meaning to a stream of acoustic signals through use of linguistic and nonlinguistic contexts.